living. loving. changing. learning. growing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

day 5

 NHBPM November 5, -5 things that changed my life. For better? For worse? List 5 things that changed your life as a patient, caregiver, or Health Activist and how.

five things that have changed my life? oh boy...

this was Flo AKA- Florence Nightingale.
 she was replaced by a newer model. he is purple and is not named yet. any ideas? 

  1. my insulin pump- i was around 12 years old when i started pumping, which was perfect timing before i hit my teenage years.  eating what i wanted, when i wanted was amazing. being able to eat and THEN bolus without the 30 minute wait between taking a shot and eating?! heaven.. getting up late? YES! being able to stay over at a friend's? finally! my pump was life changing. not only did it improve my control, it gave me the freedom to be a regular kid...teenager...and now adult, just like everyone one else. only i wear my pancreas on the outside.

  2. finding a endo team that lives with diabetes themselves- HOLY SMOKES BATMAN! you know you are off to a good start when your new CDE mentions the DOC and SWAGing at your first visit. 
       seriously though, having a team that really and truelly understands exactly what you mean when you say "yeah, i was high. my teeth were wearing sweaters and everything" or "today's CGM site was a total gusher."  or "forgot to bolus for my ice cream (which was super bolus-worthy, btw) so my bg totally skyrocketed. so then i rage-bolused and was double downing all night which left me with a gluc-over." or "it's a free shower day!" i mean outside the DOC and the select few PwoD who love us, no one would understand anything i just wrote. having the medical side AND the diabuddy side all rolled into one is the perfect combo. 

  3. my dog-Agatha
   Agatha started alerting to low bgs during the night shortly after i brought her home. she was 4 months old and had been given back to the breeders because she chewed up her owners Persian rugs. it was a all out blessing because i had fallen in love with her as a 6 week old puppy but could NOT afford her. thank God for those chewed up rugs! the breeders called me and asked if i still wanted her. OH MY STARS! YES! 

    when she first started waking me up to lows i honestly thought she was crazy. i had heard it was possible but not without lots and lots of training. i was wrong. i didn't do anything with her gift until one night i was not responsive to her. Aggie took matters into her own paws. she opened my bedroom door and ran across the house to my parents room, woke mom up and dashed back to me and back to mom. over and over until mom got the point and came to check on me. i was pretty darn low. she has a gift and now we are capitalizing on that wonderful gift. i have been training her myself for the last year-ish (we didn't do much "real" work while she was a "teenager"..for obvious one ear, out the other kinda thing) but this year she has done sooo great! i am at the point in training that i feel i have exhausted my resources and need some professional help. hopefully as soon as i raise $600 or so we can go to school in WA. in the mean time, she rarely leaves my side and we are both better because of it. i am more confidant to stay by my self, my family and i are not so afraid of night time lows, though they do still scare me but over all, i sleep better at night with her snoring by my side. did i tell you how much i love chewed Persian rugs?? 

     4.  the DOC- if anything, this has been the biggest source of encouragement in my adult years. i stumbled upon Kim's blog when i was at my lowest, diabetically speaking . i was in the middle of some serious burnout and needed to know i was not the only one. i was not the only one who felt like they wanted to smash a meter. i was not the only one who ate everything but the kitchen sink when low in the night. i was not the only one living with this 24/7. boy was i not the only one!

    through Kim i found Scott's blog , Kerri's blog , Jess's blog and many others that helped me in so many ways. i hope they realize that they really did change my life. i was able to work my way out of a very long burn out because of what i read, the links i saw, the challenges they posted about. one thing lead to another and now these people are my friends. in real life. and that is life changing. (and i am tearing up writing this!) through the DOC i remembered i can do this 

   5.  Friends For Life- this is where i meet all the people mentioned above and also SaraC, Brian,  Heather and Becca the diabetes alert dog, and about a zillion other wonderful PWD! it was amazing. i heard speakers that are top in their fields of study, ate lots of good food that was all carb counted for me, hung out at disney, shed a few happy tears, and felt normal. i loved hearing 20 different pumps going off during sessions. the fact that most people just looked at their OWN pocket was beautiful. at the swimming pool everyone had sites on their body and no body looked at yours and asked "what is that hanging from your arm?". we were all the same. we all had busted pancreai (what is the plural spelling??). oh and a highlight? i needed a new sensor put in and wanted it in my arm. well i have yet to master the art of doing it myself when you can only use one hand. so i tweeted a message and a few seconds later Jess said she would be happy to. so she did, with about 25 other PWD gathered around laughing and talking and enjoying the bond that not everyone is lucky enough to have. oh and i have the honor of being the first person "shot" by Jess...other than herself of course. 

so there you have it. those are my life changers. there are many more such as my family! but that would take a million years to write....

his post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days:


  1. Shay, you made me tear up! This is a beautiful post, and I'm so glad you've found some of the support you've been looking for. (Bee Tee Dubs, your dog is ADORABLE!!)

  2. I remember how excited Jess was to "poke" someone else. :D